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Andrea Clark

Andrea Clark

Graduation Year: 2018

Type of Work: Digital Health Care Products and Implementation

Hometown: Mundelein, IL (Northwest suburb of Chicago)

What are your interests/hobbies?
Running, biking, yoga, being outside, and coffee

What are your favorite Chicago activities?
Running/Biking at the lakefront, free museum days, and exploring coffee shops in all the neighborhoods around the city

Did you work full time through the program?
Yes, I worked full time and the time commitment was reasonable because I had flexible work hours. Often there were some late nights, but was able to turn everything in on time. Many people worked with families and kids at home (one woman even had her baby during the program and still finished). The professors are accommodating as well if there is an issue with getting a project completed on time.

Professionally, what are you doing now?
I just got a new job working at a digital healthcare startup in Chicago, VillageMD. I will be working on their software product, as a Program Operations Manager. VillageMD created a powerfrul software, DocOS, that helps primary care practices to be more effective and efficient with their patient information in their EMR. I will be interviewing end users and putting a new human-centered design strategic development platform in place. This will allow a better pipeline of software development by understanding current end users needs and desires, as well as ensuring new clients get the services they purchase. It is where the product, tech, and strategy come together to ensure best operational practices to ultimately provide better primary care services to our clients and their patients.

Tell us about a “Northwestern moment.” More specifically, was there a moment either in class or otherwise associated with the program where something really clicked for you?
One moment where the program really clicked for me was during my last quarter in the elective with Professor Gayle Kricke. As a class we were learning tools that will help improve quality and projects throughout many types of health care organizations (hospitals, consulting firms, pharma, etc..). We were defining root causes and there was a moment that made me realize that many people don’t actually know the actual problem, rather define their problem with a solution. Although this seems common sense (for example, the problem isn’t we need a new EMR, the problem is the current EMR doesn’t allow us the functionality to properly communicate information to other physicians), however, a light bulb went off and I am pretty sure I actually said, “Aha!”. It just made sense and getting everyone on the same page as to what is the problem not the solution, you can work together more cohesively than before. Healthcare is filled with Egos and people ashamed or saving face, however, if we can agree on the problem, we can drive towards solutions.

How has the program changed the way you view healthcare?
The culmination of the program is trying to make you think in a new way on how to solve difficult problems in health care. The classes build and provide tools and new perspectives on how to think about all the old and new emerging problems in health care and how we can think about solving them.

Did you discover anything new or unexpected at Northwestern?
The multitude of opportunities and the way employers and colleagues acknowledge the work that it takes with getting a degree from a top tiered university.